Missouri Bicycling, Walking, Running, and Trails News

Legislative session ends today: Progress on funding, penalties for dangerous drivers, bike/ped issues, stopped by Senate shutdown

Today is the last day of the 2015 Missouri legislative session. What's going on in the General Assembly and with our legislative priorities?

The major news: A filibuster in the Senate is halting all legislative action there--and the Senators have vowed to continue the slowdown until the end of the legislative session at 6pm today.

Unless the filibuster is broken--which appears to be unlikely at this time--there is 0% chance of passing the MoDOT fuel tax increase or any of the bills we have been supporting before session ends at 6pm today.   So we'll be back to work on these issues and more next year!  The progress we made this year puts us in good stead for future years.

What bills have we been working on this year and where do we stand on each issue?

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Bike Month 2015: Have your city or town officially declare May as Bike Month

May is National Bike Month!  Time to get your bike out and take a ride.

During Bike Month, one way you can help move bicycling forward in Missouri is both easy and effective:  Ask your city council member or mayor to issue a resolution or proclamation declaring May as Bicycle Month in your city or town--or county, church, business, social group or any other organization. 

Most of these proclamations and resolutions are made by a citizen simply contacting a city council member or the mayor, asking the city to make the proclamation or resolution, and including some sample text for the proclamation or resolution.

Here are some sample proclamations/resolutions that you can modify and adapt for your city and ask your city council member to issue the proclamation or pass the resolution:

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Safe Cycling 101: Basic Bicycle Handling

This is the fifth article in an eleven article series on Traffic Skills 101, the League of American Bicyclist's premier vehicular cycling course.  For more information, please contact the author, visit MoBikeFed's Bicycling Safety and Skills Page, or visit the Bike League's website.

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ADVOCACY ALERT: Ask Senators Blunt & McCaskill to Cosponsor better biking/walking

Today the League of American Bicyclists is asking Senators to co-sponsor the Transportation Alternatives Improvement Act (TAPIA)--to improve and fix problems with the primary source of bicycle and pedestrian funding across the U.S. and in Missouri.

At the National Bike Summit in March, we met with both Senator McCaskill and Senator Blunt--and ask them to co-sponsor TAPIA.  Now they need to hear from you--it will help seal the deal.

Click here to send your message to our Senators in Washington DC, that Missourians support better, safer bicycling and walking.

 

More details from Caron Whittaker of the League:

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ALERT: Capitol Day Today; Please contact your Missouri legislators, ask them to support bicycling & wlaking

Monday April 13th is Bicycle & Pedestrian Day at the Capitol in Jefferson City.  We'll be contacting every legislative office in Jefferson City Monday and making follow-up visits and testifying at Committee hearings Tuesday, April 14th.  Please take a few minutes to email and/or call your Missouri Senator and Representative this week to back up our personal visits!

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Capitol Day Monday: Missouri Reps threatening to ban spending on bike/ped

In 2014, a surprise amendment on the floor of the Missouri House to remove all bicycle funding from a proposed statewide funding initiative was soundly defeated in a vote on the House floor. Now Missouri representatives across the state are talking about banning funding for bicycling and walking again.

With MoDOT facing an unprecedented funding crisis, discussion in the Missouri General Assembly has been heating up on the subject of a tax increase to help fill the gap.

Unlike last year's (failed) proposal--which broadly addressed all of Missouri's transportation needs, including bicycling, walking, and transit--the current proposals are all focused on relatively small increases to the state fuel tax. By the Missouri Constitution, the fuel tax proceeds can be used only on road and streets in cities, and state highways administered by MoDOT.

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Legislative Update: MoDOT funding, safe passing, anti-harassment, anti-texting while driving, and much more

What will we be working on at Bicycle and Pedestrian Day at the Capitol April 13th?  Here are the main bills and issues.

There are some huge issues out there this year--that's why we need you to join us in Jefferson City Monday, April 13th--because only when we talk to our legislators about the importance of these issue can we educate them about the importance of bicycling and walking to Missouri

SB 540 - 2+2+2 Fuel tax increase - passed Senate Transportation Committee today; next stop is Senate Floor.

This is the latest plan to solve Missouri's statewide transportation funding crisis. If this or some similar solution fails to pass, MoDOT will implement the "Missouri 325 Plan" which provides for maintaining only 8000 miles of its roads--leaving the remaining 26,000 miles to rot in a state of neglect.

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Capitol Day April 13th: Missouri transportation funding proposal leaves out bicycling & walking; we need you!

Our annual Bicycle & Pedestrian Day at the Capitol and Legislators Bike Ride is Monday, April 13th.

Will you join us April 13th?  Register here.

The Missouri Senate is working on another transportation funding plan--and this time it includes no funding for biking and walking.  March 18th week I testified at the hearing for the bill, SB 540--and it wasn't very pleasant.

We have a whole new crop of legislators in Jefferson City--and they need an army of regular folks LIKE YOU to explain to them how important bicycling and walking is to our communities--and to you.

Will you join us April 13th in Jefferson City to do help take that message to the Capitol?

It's easy and fun. It can be as easy as taking a bike ride with a legislator, or a walk, or having a chat--to tell them how important bicycling and walking is in your life and in your community.

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Cycling Clothing and Gear for Safety and Comfort

It may not seem like a big thing, but the way you dress and the gear you tote along when you go for a ride can make a huge difference in terms of your comfort and safety.  This doesn’t mean you have to suit up like a professional racer, although there’s certainly nothing wrong with doing so if that’s your thing.  When it comes to what you wear and carry, one size doesn’t fit all.  Let’s have a look at the primary considerations when it comes to cycling clothing and gear.

The right clothing will help you ride more comfortably and safely.

 

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Federal, State and Local Organizations Join Forces to Assess Pedestrian/Bicycle Safety in Kansas City Friday

Bicycle and pedestrian advocacy groups the Missouri Bicycle and Pedestrian Federation and BikeWalkKC are joining forces with an array of agencies, organizations, and officials from the neighborhood level through city, state, and federal level to assess bicycle, pedestrian, and transit safety of a street in Kansas City.

The safety assessment, to be held Friday, March 27th, is part of a major coordinated national effort called "Safer People, Safer Streets" that is organized under the direction of U.S. Secretary of Transportation Anthony Foxx.

Similar safety assessments are being held in communities large and small nationwide, in all fifty states.  All assessment reports are forwarded directly to Secretary Foxx for his review. 

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Six Missouri cities--from large to small--join the national Mayors Challenge for safe biking, walking

How many Missouri cities have joined US Department of Transportation Secretary Foxx's Mayors Challenge for Safer Streets for bicycling and walking?  And can your city still join the Challenge?

Six Missouri cities have already joined the Challenge--a nice mix of large cities, suburbs, and smaller rural cities.  Here is the list:

  • Kansas City
  • Columbia
  • St. Louis
  • Lee’s Summit
  • Wildwood
  • Warsaw

And yes--cities can still join the Challenge, and are encouraged to do so.  Send your Mayor, city council members, or interested city staff to the USDOT Mayor's Challenge Page, which has all the information they will need and a link to the sign-up form:

  https://www.transportation.gov/content/join-challenge
 

What is the Mayors Challenge?

Secretary Foxx's Mayor's Challenge for Safer People, Safer Streets

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'Interested but concerned' bicyclists: What keeps them from biking more? What will it take to get them on a bike?

Major new national study sheds light on the large group of Americans who want to bike more, but don't.  What's holding them back?  What can we do to get them on their bikes?  The answers might surprise you . . .

by Michael Anderson, PeopleForBikes Green Lane Project


Photo: Christopher Porter.

For 10 years, urban policymakers have been talking more and more about the so-called "interested but concerned" — people who would like to bike more but who are, for some reason, held back.

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